-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hot water system

We had to decide on the hot water system type for the new house, so Eric could factor it into the plans. He laid out two basic options, of which we decided to go with Option 1 - not least because we don't have mains gas connection:

Option 1:
"One that I have used successfully in projects like yours is a hybrid of solar, wood fire and electric with a tank concealed in the roof space. The electric element rarely gets used. We used this arrangement at our old bush block where we didn't have mains electricity, so the electric element was never connected. The system works well in summer (solar) and winter (wood fire). There are occasional warm overcast days (about ten per year, from my experience) when the fire is not on and the and clouds prevent solar heating. The seperate concealed tanks don't seem to come with gas boosters, only electric. You need a plumber who is familiar with these systems to make sure it works properly"

Option 2:
"A common arrangement these days is a solar 'pre-heater' with an LPG instant gas heater. The system comprises of a tank and solar panels mounted on the roof. Water circulates through the panels heating the water in the tank when there is sunshine. From the tank, the water passes through a 'instant' LPG heater before going to the tap. If the water is already hot (summer) the LPG heater doesn't come on. If the water is cool or just warm, the LPG heater goes on enough to top it up. These systems are very common and most plumbers could fit them"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LPG is low pressure gas, the sort you get in bottles - so it is not mainspressure.

Personally I would still choose option 1 - it is what I wanted but could not afford so I only have the wood fire heating in winter option. My hws was already in the roof space and electric, the old gravity feed sort, and is original with the hosue - ie about 1965 vintage,. ?the tank should see me out with the occasional (perhaps ten yearly??) replacement of the element.